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Deano004
22 posts

Geek


  #2287768 2-Aug-2019 16:09
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Hello Talkiet, thank you for replying. Sorry that you've had a negative experience. And I'm a little sorry that my post seems to have empowered others to pipe up with similar concerns. However most seem reasonable.

I work in the tech industry, nothing to do with media especially if the scale we are talking here. What I do understand is bagging the devs doesn't gain you anything.

So that was certainly not my intention.

All I would like to know is: will the service provided by spark sport be better than it is now, the stream quality does not currently live up to my expectations. Are the powers that be at spark sport looking to rectify that.

I how the answer is yes. I would really really like for this service to work out.

If it doesn't, or I'm not who spark is targeting then that is a shame. I won't be getting upset or complaining about it. I would just like to know if I can look forward to watching some good quality sport, or if I should cancel.

Nothing personal, it is just I think a reasonable question regarding sparks service.

And again, I really appreciate anyone who takes the time to inform us regardless of the answer.

richms
25156 posts

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  #2287799 2-Aug-2019 17:18
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Only catering to a small subset of inferior devices on a new and supposedly better than sky platform is IMO very short sighted. When gaming is at higher rates again, going back to even 60FPS for something moving and panning is quite a jarring experience. I cant even stand to look at low FPS content, and prior experience says that motionflow etc cannot fix it on sports when there are things moving all directions across a pretty uniform background.





Richard rich.ms

niallm90
123 posts

Master Geek

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  #2287813 2-Aug-2019 18:13
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DNArewind:

 

Talkiet, can appreciate your response, everyone deserves respect.

 

However, I've got to say, there's clearly a problem here, which I suspect could become a much bigger problem for SS when the RWC starts streaming. A lack of engagement by SS here is not going to help, and seems to be contributing to people's frustrations. It's not even clear if SS are still looking at re-introducing 50/60 fps at some point?

 

So perhaps we can help come up with a solution to this? To help provide feedback to SS on what us, as customers, are thinking. To start, what is the actual problem?

 

Looking at bandwidth, I'm seeing 6,000 kbps on SS (as the VOD filename suggests). What's interesting is that YouTube seems to be 4,500 kbps when I watch the German GP highlights at 1080p50. DRM may add an overhead, but still, perhaps bandwidth is not the major factor here, especially if it was 6,000 at 50 fps too?

 

SS Support have told me (as they have others) that "The reason for the change from 60 to 30fps is to ensure more devices are able to access the service as a number of devices were not able to work at 60."

 

OK, in which case there's a technical issue, a classic example of providing the "lowest common denominator". But what is the actual problem?

 

P1. Perhaps SS cannot identify which devices can support 50/60 fps? So ok, a technical issue.

 

P2. Perhaps SS can identify which devices can support 50/60 fps, but do not want to provide two different streams (e.g. 25 & 50)? Perhaps a technical issue, but possibly a financial issue?

 

If it technical, what could be done to solve it? How about:

 

S1. Could SS introduce a per-device setting to choose the frame rate ("High" or "Low")? Or if there's some limitation (or other reason) why device-level settings are not possible, why not have an account-level setting? I'm always watching on the same device, for example, so an account-level setting is fine for me. It could default to "Low", for now at least.

 

S2. YouTube seems to dynamically adapt fine to the device playing the video. So why can't the SS player do the same?

 

S3. Perhaps at least the browser-based SS - when it identifies the device as a PC - could default to 50/60 fps?

 

Without knowing exactly which devices cannot do 50/60 fps, it's tricky to come up with a specific solution, but there's got to be a solution somewhere?!

 

 

Given on what Spark have said to some people I suspect its an issue with some device and TV combinations and they don't know exactly what devices are effected. They may have plans to add a configurable but I can understand how that wouldn't be an easy thing to do and could take weeks to implement and test.

 

My suspension as to the cause is the 60 to 50 Hertz conversion for some TVs and devices may be doing. As I have seen several people complain about stutter on here since the platform launched. Converting from 60 to 50 Hertz isn't as simple as dropping 10 frames because you will end up with stutter. You need to re-cadence the frames to occur every 20ms instead of 16.666666667ms for 60 Hz. Given that 60 Hz content isn't that common I wouldn't be surprised if the algorithms in TVs and devices weren’t as good as when going from 30 to 50 Hz.

 

This is pure speculation, I don't have much of a background in this stuff. Just a bit of a tech interest.

 

While I'm disappointed by the change as I think the Formula 1 looks much worse than it did at the start of the year, I can understand Sparks perspective. They are trying to support a sea of devices and TV combinations that can perform wildly differently with one of the most popular sporting events coming up in a couple of months. I do wish they would engage more on here to justify the change but I assume they don't want the media picking it up.

 

I can completely understand why individuals at Spark wouldn't want to get involved in this in an unofficial capacity.




foxy38
357 posts

Ultimate Geek


  #2287839 2-Aug-2019 19:34
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just signed of for 7 day trial.... sony 65 zd9 model...only tryed the videos thus far...but looks fine to me...no issues...wait till live sport event for sure...mainly  signed on for premier league..





foxy

event2
174 posts

Master Geek


  #2287851 2-Aug-2019 19:59
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My experience getting 60fps SS F1 streams to run smoothly was not that straight forward so I imagine that the not so technically experienced person may have caused a large volume of support issues for SS that were very time consuming and potentially not able to be solved via the support chat or email.

 

I have an older ultra book hooked up to our TV which would thermal throttle the CPU when playing back the F1 60fps stream and cause the the video to stop and start every few seconds. To resolve this I had to redo the thermal paste on the CPU heat sink.

 

On another low end laptop we have the 60fps stream would not play smoothly until I changed the power plan to high performance.

 

The range of skills needed to perform these fixes are widely different but even for the average person they may struggle with sorting out getting the power plan sorted.

 

Now I just watch the F1 via a 2nd gen Chromecast set to 50hz mode with the TV's frame interpolation turned on the and its good but not as good as the 60 FPS stream previously available, which I find frustrating knowing what it could be.

 

SS got my hooked on F1 but they may not be my regular dealer for much longer....

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


DNArewind
14 posts

Geek


  #2287875 2-Aug-2019 21:31
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Yeah, it's not obvious how to best set up your PC for the streams. For the first few races I had my TV @ 60 Hz (i.e. the default refresh rate on my HTPC). I thought the quality was good, but not perfect. Then I twigged that Formula 1 on YouTube was 50 Hz (1080p50), so changed my refresh rate to 50 Hz... and wow the quality was fantastic! The SS Help Centre doesn't seem to mention anything about this.

 

Just on that - I see several people mentioning 60 fps, but the F1 at least is 50 (now 25) fps. I'm 99% sure... though I do notice the stream filenames are 1080p-30fps-6000kbps-x.mp4, which worries me a bit.


Deano004
22 posts

Geek


  #2287887 2-Aug-2019 22:11
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Watching hungry fp1 live now. All symptoms seem reduced. The frame rate still looks too low. But, the judder is less, and there is definitely less digital noise.

It is not as good as it should be, but it is definitely watchable now.

Is this because fp1 is probably not a popular stream?

I feel like the live f1 content is the best quality content I've seen on SS. Better than VOD content and light years better than the footy.

I think if this fp1 stream was at 50 or 60 games per second the quality would be fantastic. Will test some footy after f1 is over.





Apsattv
1998 posts

Uber Geek


  #2287921 3-Aug-2019 03:40
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If i remember rightly Kayo also has issues with 50/60 fps streaming older chromecasts just couldnt handle it

 

 


  #2288988 3-Aug-2019 11:21
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Why is Spark not fronting this? Sounds like there are ways to mitigate the quality issues and some guidance for people not as tech savvy as some in this thread would be appreciated.

Deano004
22 posts

Geek


  #2288994 3-Aug-2019 11:45
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Some device set up might help. But the issue is definitely at the source. I'm not streaming through a chromecast or underpowered laptop.

I'm using a 2018 good mid level Sony TV. Content coming straight through the Spark Sport app.

I actually got the TV specifically because it did a good job with motion. Mainly for gaming on the xbox one x.

Any content coming through Netflix looks great, same with YouTube.

There is definitely something going on with codecs and/or frame rate.


sm1ff
122 posts

Master Geek
Inactive user


  #2288998 3-Aug-2019 11:56
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Deano004: Some device set up might help. But the issue is definitely at the source. I'm not streaming through a chromecast or underpowered laptop.

I'm using a 2018 good mid level Sony TV. Content coming straight through the Spark Sport app.

I actually got the TV specifically because it did a good job with motion. Mainly for gaming on the xbox one x.

Any content coming through Netflix looks great, same with YouTube.

There is definitely something going on with codecs and/or frame rate.

 

 

 

its not the source material. the problem is at spark, they are processing/encoding the source material to a lower quality.


Deano004
22 posts

Geek


  #2289047 3-Aug-2019 12:20
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Yes, sorry. When I refer to source, Spark was what I meant. Not the broadcast source. I think the f1 source feed itself is in 4k! That would be awesome, but a bit much to ask of spark I think. I'd prefer lower res with a higher bit rate and frame rate.

smidon
91 posts

Master Geek


  #2289361 3-Aug-2019 22:30
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DNArewind:

 

Yeah, it's not obvious how to best set up your PC for the streams ... I twigged that Formula 1 on YouTube was 50 Hz (1080p50), so changed my refresh rate to 50 Hz...

 

 

I would very much appreciate a 101 guide on how to do that.  Cheers Don


arnies
443 posts

Ultimate Geek


  #2289909 4-Aug-2019 21:19
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Looking around at what other 4k Sports streams exists.

 

Fox in the US streamed the womens world cup in 4k.

 

Fubo in USA is streaming some NFL games in 4K (via Fox). https://www.cordcutters.com/fubo-tv-streaming-nfl-4k-season


DNArewind
14 posts

Geek


  #2289940 4-Aug-2019 23:26
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smidon:

 

DNArewind:

 

Yeah, it's not obvious how to best set up your PC for the streams ... I twigged that Formula 1 on YouTube was 50 Hz (1080p50), so changed my refresh rate to 50 Hz...

 

 

I would very much appreciate a 101 guide on how to do that.  Cheers Don

 

 

If you're after how to change the refresh rate, then google "how to change refresh rate in windows", there are some decent guides (I can't post links yet).

 

But if you're asking how you know what to set your refresh rate to... that's more tricky. SS doesn't seem to tell you... so you can eyeball it, or make an educated guess based on the country of origin (i.e. PAL vs NTSC). F1/Wimbledon/football all look like 25 fps. NBA TV is 29.97 (or 30) fps from the looks of it (I guess 59 Hz is the most correct refresh rate, though 60 Hz may look ok???).

 

According to SVG Europe the RWC will be filmed at 59.94 fps (makes sense since Japan is NTSC). Not sure what SS will actually provide though - have SS confirmed?

 

For people using the TV Apps... does the app automatically change the TV refresh rate to match the source?


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